Saturday, October 21, 2017

It’s an exciting time to be an agent!  Did you know? Each month we add powerful new tools to help sales professionals stay top of mind in their markets.

Here’s what’s new for October!  oct-toolsHoliday postcards are a great way to reach out to your sphere each month. Savvy agent DON’T just wait for Christmas and Easter to stay in touch.  When choosing holiday postcards, please allow two weeks for timely delivery.

Rules of thumb for postcard mailing timeliness:

Need it fast? Choose First Class Mail Option:  Delivered by the Post Office in 3 – 5 days. Best for time-sensitive mailings, such as “Just Listed”, “Just Sold” or “Open House postcards.

Got a little more time? Choose Standard Class: Delivered by the Post Office in 14 – 21 days. Best for recurring mailings, such as Recipe or Inspiration postcards.4-reasons

Our Content postcards are perfect for agents who like to use education-based marketing tools. An alternative to full newsletters, these gems are filled with insightful, timely information that consumers love to read (and share), they are a simple way to stay top-of-mind with both your sphere and farm — and present yourself as an expert in your field.  You’ll find over 20 varieties in this series.oct-com-news

And our all new Community News newsletter series is a great way to stay connected with your sphere as well. Filled with timely information and done-for-you content! A new issue is released each month and perfect for staying time of mind with potential buyers and sellers.

Head over to our Specials page to get all your budget-saving promo codes which will save you 10% on your next orders.

Don’t forget! For every Holiday Postcard order placed through the end of the year, we’re donating 10% to St. Jude Children’s Hospital. Get started today.

Need help? Call our team at 866.405.3638.

How to Stay Top of Mind All Season Long

By Julie Escobar

Fall is in the air and the holidays will be in full swing before you know it.  We’ve entered the season of Pumpkin Spice everything and parties and plans are already in the works.  While many agents send Christmas, New Year’s and Calendar cards come December, why not beat the competition to the mailbox and thumbhalloweenv7stndstart with our adorable Halloween postcards. They’re fun, charming and perfect for kicking off your fall well wishes to your sphere of influence.

You can then follow up with Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday postcards and stay top of mind all season long.

AWESOME AGENT IDEA:  Use the reverse side of the postcard to make special offers to your VIP clients.  Here are some ideas that we’ve heard from agents for holiday time:

  • Invite to a holiday open house or customer appreciation event
  • Many agents give away pumpkins or pies during October and November, share where you clients can thanksgivingget theirs.  (One agent we talked to gets her pies and pumpkins from charity organizations so she’s contributing to good causes and connecting with her sphere.)
  • Order trick-or-treat bags and let customers know where they can get hold of theirs
  • Let them know how much you appreciate them and that you are there if they, or someone they know have questions!

Be sure to have some fun this last quarter of the year.  Head over to our Master Marketing Schedule to see all the fun and creative ways you can touch base with your sphere and farm this season and make the kind of connections that will get you noticed — and earn you business.

PLUS — From now until October 15th, we will donate 10% of EVERY holiday postcard order (excluding taxes, postage and handling) to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital!  Help us help the kids — and stay top of mind all season long! Get started today.

Back to School Real Estate Marketing

Six Lessons for Success 

By Julie Escobar

Back to School Real Estate Marketing

You can almost feel it — that anxiousness, excitement and uncertainty that envelopes us around this time year after year. Tens of millions of children headed back to classes, and even those without little ones can get caught up in the thirst for knowledge, need for more certain schedules and the never-too-old-for allure of new notebooks and supplies. All right, maybe that last one is just me, but you’ll have to admit there is something exciting about creating a clean slate, learning to the best of our abilities and growing as a sales professional as well as a person.

Ready to get started? You’ve had a healthy breakfast, donned your uniform (name badges everyone!) put on your thinking caps and you’re ready to learn – right? Here are the “classes” you must master in this market:

1.   Direct response.  Is your postcard  asking your prospects a question?  Are you raising their awareness?  Are you giving them a reason and means to contact you?  Are you just staying in touch or do you need them back 2to take action?  When you use your marketing to ask the questions that are already in the minds of your prospects, you create a connection that makes people want to reach back out to you.

Even holiday postcards can effectively raise awareness and include a message to not only have a great holiday but to call you should they need you or have questions.   A Just Listed card too – is not just a just listed card.  It’s an invitation to see a new listing, to get a list of other homes like it, answer questions or evaluate another potential seller’s ability to sell their home.  Content cards offer valuable information consumers are looking for and offer an invitation for buyers and sellers to learn more or get free reports. The Neighborhood Update/Free Offer Series, a popular one for agents, offers free reports, valuable consultation, and other items of value to the consumer — as well as neighborhood stats that appeal to buyers and sellers on a hyper-local level.

2.  Consistency.  Again and again and again.  That’s how often you need to “show up” in their mailbox, on autumn cardtheir radar and in the lives of your prospects and customer base.  Our market is too competitive and life is too short for one-shot wonders.  Plus – it’s just too expensive to waste time, effort and of course, marketing dollars on a one-hit mailing.  They don’t work.  Never have, never will.  And in today’s world – people want to see that you’ve got what it takes to stick with it and get results before they want to work with you.  If you give up easily on your marketing – what message does that send to your customer base?  Success comes to those who show up not once but over and over again. With the right message, the right attitude and the right promise of service.  Show them you’ve got what it takes.

3.  List care. Your mailing list is not just “a list.”  It’s not just a spreadsheet of names and addresses.  It represents the lifeblood of your business.  It hosts the people that, if cared for, if catered to, if serviced right, if stayed in touch with, if impacted – will take care of you for the entirety of your career.  In fact, studies show that one in twelve will result in a transaction per year of you consistently and effectively stay in touch.  That said- how many do you want on your list and how committed are you to taking care of them like the  VIPs that they are?

Find a database you’re comfortable with and don’t stop with names, addresses and phone numbers.  Fill in the gaps.  Who is their spouse? What are their kids’ names?  What do they do?  What do they like?  When did they purchase/sell with you last?  What referrals have they sent?  What common interests do you have?  It’s not easy at first – but once you’ve formed the good habit of contacting your list at least three times a year (not all at once, of course!) you’ll start to be able to feed the details into your database.

Don’t lose those lists you get when you purchase a just listed postcard either!  Every time you send a postcard out with us and choose to do a radial or neighborhood search, that list is yours to keep so that you can continue to build your book of business.  Add them to your list and start building a relationship with them as well.  For more ideas of who should be in your sphere of influence – download our free BusinessBASE – and check out the 150 Questions to Help You Build Your Business Relationships.  It’s a great ‘refresher’ course for remembering all the people you SHOULD be building relationships with!

4.  Niche Marketing:  Niche players fare better, earn more, usually are better at time management and can lifestyle selects cardsmore quickly define themselves as an expert in their market area. Why? First, it gives you clarity of purpose, so you’re more efficient in the way you conduct your business, in the manner you build your skill sets and your knowledge base and in how you grow your customer base. You don’t need to be all things to all people. You just need to be the best at reaching out to, teaching and building relationships with that core group or niche. That not only builds your business faster, but it gives you a sense of certainty and confidence that you wouldn’t have if you were trying to work with any and all customer types.

So who do YOU want to work with most?  Seniors?  First time home buyers?  FSBOs? Luxury Markets? Boaters? Golfers? Or maybe outside the box ideas like horse enthusiasts, Harley riders, yacht club members, golfers? Find the fit that’s right for you – then be the BEST for that niche! Now with new mailing list options that include specialty lifestyle interest data, or Nielsen Prizm codes you can easily find more the customers you most want to work with.

That’s not to say you ignore your sphere – just keep enhancing it by building niche markets that help it (and your business) to grow!

10 ways to prospect to schools

By the way – one really time-appropriate niche to start is working with your local school communities. The rewards are great – not just in your bottom line, but the experience you get and connections you create and the very real difference you can make in the lives of students and educators.  Download our Free Report:  10 Ways to Prospects To and Support Your Local PTAs. (You’ll find it close to the bottom of the free reports page.) While you’re there – download a few more great reports to use in your fall marketing!

5.    Leveraging Technology Tools: Leveraging technology and available networking to maximize your potential for lead generation, prospecting and keeping your pipeline of customers filled is crucial to your success.  That means learning how to use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and the social networking tools that are available today. It can also mean hosting weekly or monthly conference calls, webinars and workshops for those in your niche, community or sphere of influence. These are great ways to inexpensively and effectively establish and reinforce your niche. Technology allows you to be in many places and in front of many people at one time, which helps you build relationships by using these tools to share information on a regular, consistent basis.

Technology also allows you to put systems in place such as automating the marketing of your listings using systems such as MLSmailings.comwww.GettingListingsSold.com  which can take some of the daily, weekly and monthly marketing chores off your to-do list, freeing you up to spend more time at what you do best – getting face-to-face with customers and prospects.

6.    Work High Priority Activities First. Real estate agents get paid to build relationships and provide exceptional service. There are plenty of ways to be BUSY in this business- but the activities that matter most are the ones that are directly tied to your bottom line.  You need to have absolute focus on scheduling the time to prospect, present, close and build relationships before anything else. That means making and KEEPING that appointment with yourself every day.

The last thing we wanted to cover in our time together is how, as sales professionals, we can create good study habits that will also contribute to our success. Got down time?  In the car, on the treadmill, during your commute?  Make the most of it by ‘plugging in’ to top speakers, trainers and coaches that you can listen to on the go.

Need help? To learn more about how we can help you fuel your business, streamline your systems and take your career to the next level, call our marketing team today at 866.405.3638 or visit our website www.prospectsplus.com.
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Building Blocks for a Hitting Your Goals

By Julie Escobar

Top agents know that the key to longevity in this business is to build a better book of business.  Referrals are their stock and trade, but to keep them coming IN– they know they need to constantly be reaching OUT. Let’s take a look at some powerful and productive ways to do that WITHOUT a lot of stress or hassle.

Strategy #1:  Commit to the list.  Whatever database system you’re using, inputting your customer information is step one.  Even if you don’t have EVERYTHING you need , or all the information you want, start somewhere.  I’ve talked to agents who never get around to marketing at all because they feel like they have to do everything at once.  If it seems overwhelming – start SOMEWHERE.  Pick 50 or 100 people to add and knock it out in a couple hours – even if you’re simply using excel to add name, address, phone, email.  Start SOMEWHERE.  Then pick another day and do the same thing so you can get your list to the 200 mark. (Virtual assistants these days are very affordable as well – so that may be an option for some of you.  College students are always looking for some extra money too, especially this time of year – so ask around!  Not sure who to add, refer back to the BusinessBASE we talked about last week that shared the 150 people who should be in your sphere.)

Strategy #2:  Opt-ins & social media.  We’ve got some powerful tools in our resource section.  Terrific free reports that are a perfect addition to your website as an opt-in piece.  Here’s a creative multi-use way to useSaveDownPayment_thumb (1) these tools to help you build your list, feed your social media stream and entice your customers and prospects to continually return to your site for more resources!  You’ll become the go-to agent for information!  Simply click here to go to our resource section and download the free reports that will work best for you and your market.  Go ahead and download as many as you like and bookmark this page because we add new ones all the time.  These are going to now become part of the campaign you’re about to kick off!  Now, take one per week or one per month and break the contents down into bite sized pieces to share on your social media and on the backs of your postcards.

I’ll give you an example:  Take the How to Save for a Down Payment free report.  It has seven tips for saving for a down payment.  A fun strategy would be to kick off your Facebook posts on a Monday with a post something along these lines:

As a professional Realtor, it’s a privilege to help people invest in their future and find the home of their dreams.  Often times, it is the down payment that can be a sticking point.  This week I’ll share with you seven powerful ways you can save!  Tip #1:  1. Get in the know. Like any good budget or savings plan, the first place to start is to determine where you are NOW in relation to your credit score, your monthly bills and assets. Contact me or a trusted mortgage professional to see how much home you qualify for and how much you’ll need to save to purchase your home. We can help you take a look at things like credit scores, loan requirements and interest rates now so you can be simultaneously doing ALL the things right during this savings period to ensure the most favorable rate and terms.

Say you made this your “Free report for August” in your business plan.  When setting up your postcard timing is everything cardcampaign on Prospectsplus.com – choose the alternate back and add a little verbiage to that fact.  Here is an example:

As a professional Realtor who specializes in helping people find the home of their dreams, I’m always eager to share resources that can help consumers just like you make the best financial decisions for their family!  Please visit my site today at www.yoursitehere.com and download a copy of my new free report:  How to Save for a Down Payment.  No cost or obligation and please share with friends!  Call me if you have questions at xxx-xxx-xxxx!

Then do the same for month two and three of your campaign.  This way your social media and your postcard marketing are all working in tandem.  Keep copies of each report on hand so you can mail or email them out easily.  (I would make a file on your desktop specifically to house all these reports to make finding them easier!)time is now card

Strategy #3:  Commit to a campaign.  Even if you’re not sure which campaign is right for you – choose one to use for at least three months.  Breaking projects down into bite-size pieces makes the process less stressful and more manageable for most people.  I love the idea of a three month campaign because you can add your list, choose your card campaign and let that run for three months.  Then make whatever revisions are necessary to your list once a quarter such change an address, add a new customer or referral, change an email, etc.  This makes your database management less time-consuming as well.  By breaking your campaigns down into quarterly increments – you also have the flexibility to try a new campaign on for size.

Some sphere of influence favorites are:customer-appreciation-direct-mail-real-estate-postcards (1)

  • Listing Inventory Series
  • Holiday Series
  • Recipe Series
  • Call to Action Series
  • Neighborhood Update Series
  • Customer Appreciation Series

Strategy #4:  Add a niche.  One of the fastest ways to grow your sphere is to take what you’re passionate about, the people you like working with the MOST and create a niche for yourself.  I’ve always said it’s tough to be #1 in a geographic market – but not in a smaller niche that you are excited about.  From traditional (first time home buyers, fsbo’s, expireds) to out of the box (Harley riders, health and wellness seekers, boaters, fishermen) – find something you love, then get out there and meet THOSE people and start putting them into your list.  The secret ingredient in a sphere of lifestyle interstinfluence is INFLUENCE.  Taking people from being “on a list” to knowing, trusting and liking you enough to want to do business with you.  That process happens fastest when you’re working with a group of people that you like and know about in return! Not sure where to start? Take a look at our Lifestyle Interest Series which helps agent match their messages to their favorite marketing segments such as boaters and golfers.

Now you’re ready to get STARTED!  Make this spring your best!  And don’t forget – our inside account management team is here to help you make some of these decisions and walk you through the processes.   You can reach them at  866.405.3638.

Oh – and don’t forget to join in on this month’s contest!  Share your favorite ProspectsPLUS! strategy or experience by  heading over to our Google+ page and leaving a comment.  Each month we choose three different agents to share in winning $400 in gift cards!  It could be you!  Click here to get started!  

8 Tips for Using Seasonal Marketing

by Julie Escobarearth day

While a lot of sales pros send out holiday greetings for Thanksgiving and Christmas, we’re finding that lots of top agents stay in touch with seasonal messages for the sphere of influence all year around.

Great idea as staying in touch and top of mind never goes out of season.  Before you buy a card, stick a stamp of figure out where your mailing list is — consider these eight tips for sending seasonal marketing.

  1. Be clear about your message.  Even when you’re sending holiday postcards, you can use the reverse side to send a great message to your customer base.  If you are sending to both your sphere and farm, you may want to consider altering the message mother's day cardslightly for each. Make it personal and heart-felt, with a note of thanks for allowing you the opportunity to serve them as customers — or in the case of your farm – the community.
  2. Serve two purposes.  Are you having a holiday open house? Customer event?  Charity drive?  Looking for a good time to stop by with a small gift? You can include that information on the cards as well.
  3. Don’t be salesy.  Holiday greetings are not about the sale – they are about the connection.  Keep it warm and personable.
  4. Don’t wait for just Christmas.  Many top agents send a holiday message once a month to their sphere. Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Independence Day, Back to School, and Halloween are all favorites. There’s summer timesomething to celebrate all year round, and it’s a fun way to stay connected and stand out as someone who is “there” more than just in the month of December.
  5. Have some fun with it.  Got a great team? Or just a great personality?  Take some fun pictures and opt for a photocard rather than a more traditional card and don’t be afraid to get a little creative with your photos. Create a fun message and send out each quarter.
  6. Don’t leave anyone out! You know all those mailing lists you’ve been collecting throughout the year? For Just Listed postcards, or the stack of business cards that have been sitting on the corner of your desk collecting dust?
  7. Order early.  We suggest sending your holiday cards out at LEAST two weeks in advance of the holiday back to schoolevery month — and sending first class as opposed to standard-class to ensure timely delivery.
  8. Follow up.  Sending cards is a great way to easily stay in touch.  Pick a postcard, edit your message, add a list – and you’re done!  In a matter of minutes you’ve created a connection.  However to really get the full impact of ANY mailing (holiday and otherwise) — be sure to follow up – at least with the top 25% of your list.  There is no substitution for this step.  Imagine if you made it a point each year, every year, to speak with every single person in your sphere at least twice a year?  Touch base, see if they have questions, thank them for being great customers, and say hello.  Here’s what happens when you do:  they remember you.  They don’t list with another agent because your name wasn’t on the radar.  They are grateful that you take the time to call.  And one out of 12?  Statistically will do business with you or refer business to you.

Here’s to staying in touch with your sphere and farm!

If you’re new to ProspectsPLUS!, watch this quick video to learn how fast and easy it is to register for your free membership, and place a postcard order in ten minutes or less!

Need help?  We’re here for you!  Call our team at 866.405.3638 today.  We’ll help get your holidays started and save you money at the same time! Have a great one!